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Surveillance and Censorship in Britain and the EU
Mugur Kevin Galalae
25 October 2010
A covert surveillance and censorship (SAC) program run by Britain’s secret service agencies from spy centers in and outside the UK threatens the democratic foundation of Europe and undermines respect for human rights and civil liberties across the Western world.
THE GREAT SECRET
The following article is the result of 17 months of conflict with the British Government, Oxford and Leicester universities and 1500 hours of investigative work, time during which I took to task dozens of academics, administrators and officials in Britain and the EU. In the process, disturbing truths have come to light about the state of Great Britain and the EU, which reveal that Europe’s democratic foundation is at stake.
Imagine a world where what you are allowed to say and think is dictated and controlled from spy centres in the tribal and autocratic Muslim states of the Arabian Peninsula, where polygamy is ripe, women are hidden behind veils and where some form of Sharia law or no law at all prevails. Imagine a world where the offspring of the global elites are privy to a great secret that your sons and daughters are not and that can ruin their lives before they even have a chance to start. Imagine a world where the people who are supposed to render justice and defend the law are lying through their teeth and judge in bad faith to make sure the government’s dirty secrets stay secret. Imagine a world where teachers are forced by secret government decree to fail their students in underhanded ways if they say anything critical of the nation’s foreign or domestic policies. Imagine a world where human rights and civil liberties are just words on paper and where the politicians are hypocrites pretending to defend the constitution and the laws of the land. Imagine a world where the institutions of democracy have been silenced and the press closed to any and all who want to tell their fellow citizens about an international attack on liberty, justice and equity. Imagine a world where fact is fiction and fiction fact, because that is the only way to keep together a feeble social fabric woven from the knotty thread of distorting inequalities and growing inequities. Imagine a world where the laws of the land apply only to those whose opinions and ideas are sanctioned by government censors. Well, you don’t have to imagine it because you already live in that world; and if not, then you are about to live in it thanks to the Machiavellian ingenuity and perverse machinations of the British secret services and the gullible leaders of our abandoned democracies throughout the western world. If you live in the United Kingdom or attend any British institution of higher education from close or from afar, then that is the reality that is being withheld from you thanks to a covert surveillance and censorship (SAC) programme of Britain’s higher education institutions that took effect in 2007. If you live anywhere else in the European Union, then that world is coming
to your neighbourhood soon, if it isn’t already there; just as soon as the Stockholm Programme that was agreed upon by the EC’s member states in 2009 takes effect. The surveillance and censorship programme (SAC) I have uncovered during 16 months of ongoing conflict with the British government and its intelligence agencies is a full scale assault upon free thinking. It is also a deep secret within a grand deception. It has its roots in CONTEST, The United Kingdom's Strategy for Countering International Terrorism (http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm75/7547/7547.pdf), a government document that dates back to 2003. As Britain’s “strategic response to the threat from international terrorism” CONTEST’s stated aim is “to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from international terrorism”. The strategy has four strands for achieving this: Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare, and SAC is part of the Prevent strand. The government introduced its revised Prevent strategy in October 2007 and this is also the time when the covert surveillance and censorship programme (SAC) of universities and other higher education institutions was initiated after years of painstaking groundwork. SAC, however, is only the latest of a series of sister programmes of surveillance that operate openly in the UK since 2003 and that have infiltrated places of worship, prisons, social and sports clubs and target mainly, but not exclusively, Muslims in Britain. The Prevent strand was initially meant “to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism and violent extremism” and its first objective – “to challenge the ideology behind violent extremism and support mainstream voices” – is what prompted the nation’s politicians to empower Britain’s secret service agencies to take control of the nation’s democratic debate and to listen in and interfere with any conversation, whether real or virtual, deemed radical. To achieve this they have covertly infiltrated the country’s higher education institutions to censor and control the academic environment. In the meantime, CONTEST’s Prevent strategy has assumed far more odious objectives and its tentacles are strangling every democratic institution in the UK, from the press to the judiciary, undermining the very foundation of a free society. This has occurred at breakneck speed due to the favourable geopolitical environment provided by Al Qaeda’s attacks on America in 2001 and on Europe in 2004 and 2005. To implement SAC Britain’s spooks needed the collaboration of the nation’s civil society, and the participation of Britain’s administrators and academics. In the name of national security, they asked them to compromise the core values of democracy, pervert the premise of academic discourse, and sell out the sanctity of the academic environment. They obtained their collaboration by reminding them that funding for their institutions, departments and research will be abundant for those who collaborate and subject to review for those who don’t. Once a university’s administrators, to feather their own beds, agree to collaborate with the government on SAC, the academics are forced to cooperate by threatening them with staff redundancy rules which include, as at Cambridge University, a vague list of disciplinary offences such as ‘unreasonable refusal to carry out a reasonable instruction’ or the catch-all ‘any other act of
serious misconduct’ (http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/ccf/statute-u.html). Since competition for teaching jobs at British universities is fierce, the incentive is to cooperate or else risk losing one’s teaching position and the ability to work at any and all British universities. SAC works by circumventing, ignoring or blatantly violating both national and international laws. Government agents operating from within and outside the country – should the course be offered virtually - are assigned to specific universities where they enrol in programs and courses as regular students, paying tuition fees out of pocket. This allows universities to play innocent should anyone cry foul and to avoid legal repercussions for violating privacy rules, expressional rights, freedom of conscience, education law and the trust of their students. Once imbedded, the spies masquerade as legitimate students while secretly collaborating with the course tutors. They gather information on every student, test the students’ allegiance to the system, assist the course tutors in deflecting and diverting the discussions away from subjects the government deems taboo when the opinions expressed by students run counter to Britain’s foreign or domestic policies, bully and coerce students into toeing the politically correct line, manufacture consent and, should that fail, provoke students to commit netiquette breaches or simply create an environment so harassing as to cause targeted students to quit their studies of their own accord. The overall effect is to brainwash the young and the impressionable to hold skewed and hypocritical views in line with the British Government’s foreign and domestic policy objectives and not to question the new world order or criticise its shortcomings and injustices. Should a student, for instance, criticize the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan and Britain’s involvement in them, mention the word Caliphate, point out that the world’s worst nuclear proliferators are all western nations, suggest that Al Qaida has more than marginal support among Muslims, identify the ongoing conflict between the West and Islam as a war of civilizations, or as much as whisper the notion that Iran is as entitled as any other nation to pursue a nuclear programme, a scripted and well-rehearsed censorship mechanism is activated. The spy and the course tutor first gang up on the hapless student to challenge his arguments and to require substantiation, and if that does not work to accuse him of over-simplification, lack of sophistication, sweeping generalizations or intellectual shortcomings. Should the student stand his ground or refuse to sing from the same song sheet as the censoring duo then his marks will take a dive. Any further infringement of the British Government’s secret dictates and directives will result in failing marks regardless of the quality of the student’s assignments. Since the guiding principle of CONTEST is to defend Britain’s “shared values” and “community cohesion” the censoring duo (secret agent + course tutor) or trio – since oftentimes a student who is in training to become a censor will also be used to hone in on the victim – has absolute discretion in deciding who is in violation. And since students lack any real recourse should they fall afoul of the censors, this gives them unchecked authority that can be abused and misused. Showing republican tendencies, pointing out that monarchies are antithetical to democracies, and calling for the dissolution of the British monarchy; criticising the system of parliamentary
democracy and advocating for direct democracy; or suggesting a more equitable distribution of labour and wealth in free-market societies, can be sufficient reason to trigger one’s expulsion. What is even more disturbing is that one’s ethnicity, nationality, color, religion as well as political persuasion are used to profile students and to discriminate against them in the name of defending Britain’s shared values and community cohesion. To avoid lawsuits for engaging in censorship, discrimination, and freedom of speech violations, the favourite methods of triaging unconforming, undesirable and “un-British” students out of universities are netiquette breaches and the unfair evaluation of assignments leading either to direct expulsions or, respectively, to voluntary withdrawals. If students cannot be reformed or intimidated into submission, or if they happen to be deemed not British enough by the censors then they will be harassed to such an extent that they will drop out of the program of their own accord. Alternatively, students who cannot be coerced to abandon their convictions and ideals and to adopt and regurgitate the British Government’s propaganda are expelled for netiquette breaches, which are carefully instigated, especially in the case of courses offered virtually. To ensure that SAC remains secret and that it is not challenged in a court of law for its obvious ethical and legal violations, the entire system has been rigged. The institutions of government and the organizations of civil society have been either redesigned to be ineffective or coerced to remain silent and the rule of law has been perverted to ensure that the laws of the land are used to suppress rather than defend truth and justice. Universities that run SAC have been allowed to make their internal processes for conflict resolution a complete farce in order to hide the existence of SAC and their collaboration with the government in running it. Oxford and Leicester, the universities where I uncovered SAC, have even gone so far as to deny me (and everyone else, I suspect) the right to protest the existence of SAC on their campuses. They continue, however, to portray themselves as bastions of free speech.1 To cover their shame, universities that have been exposed go so far as to threaten legal action against students who communicate their findings with their fellow students.2 And if
Leicester University’s Academic Registrar, Kathy Williams, wrote to me on the 8th of April, 2010: “The University will not grant you permission to use the University’s grounds for the purpose of conducting a hunger strike, or indeed, as you are no longer a student of the University, for any purpose at all. Our security service is being provided with your name and such personal details as you volunteered to us when you registered, and if you attempt to initiate the action you describe you will be asked by them to leave the campus. If you refuse to leave voluntarily, the police will be called.”
Leicester University threatened legal action if I continue to share my findings with other students. I wrote back: “Given the many dirty secrets Leicester is trying to cover up, you would do me a great favour by initiating a lawsuit against me. I therefore urge you to do so at the earliest possible date.” Needless to say, they have not followed their threat with action.
intimidation does not work, they then refuse to issue a Completion of Procedures letter, which a student needs to take his or her complaint to an authority outside the university.3 The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), which is the highest authority in Britain to adjudicate conflicts unresolved at the university level, was intentionally not given the mandate to consider complaints that relate to matters of academic judgement. Since matters relating to prejudice or bias in the conduct of the assessment process – SAC’s favourite method of getting rid of students – can be pursued only at the university level, any and all incidents of censorship are thus buried within the university and rarely reach the OIA. But even if they do reach it, the OIA is under government directive not to address complaints that expose the existence of SAC and to instead conduct bogus investigations. To prevent the establishment of precedents, the OIA refuses to release information on how many of the complaints it receives annually mention censorship, which runs counter to its declared transparency policy. And to shelter it from being forced to release damning information through the Freedom of Information Act, the government has exempt the OIA from having to open its books to such scrutiny and public oversight. This is all the more egregious and suspicious since officially the OIA promises full transparency and complete impartiality. The OIA plays dirty in other ways too: by delaying its verdicts, refusing to issue a copy of the rules that govern it4, or communicating with the universities it investigates and with government agencies without the knowledge of the complainants, all of which fly in the face of its stated transparency and independence. The OIA’s principal role, therefore, is to give students the illusion that their complaints are being considered in good faith and that the system works, when in fact they will be shelved without any regard to their validity and with complete disdain for the law, as long as they contain any reference to SAC. The OIA is the graveyard for SAC complaints; that is where they are buried and the slate is wiped clean. Students who accuse their universities of censorship and thus with violations of Article 10 (Freedom of Expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 9 (Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion), and Article 2 (Right to Education), or with discrimination, as defined by Article 14, will also not have their cases heard by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the watchdog charged with promoting and enforcing equality and nondiscrimination laws, as well as human rights in Britain. Its power to investigate human rights violations resulting from CONTEST’s many programs, SAC included, has been clipped from its
In my case, both Leicester and Oxford University have refused to issue a Completion of Procedures Letter, even though this flies in the face of their rules, in order to prevent me from taking my case to the OIA.
This is particularly egregious since its primary function is to determine if universities follow the rules. Obviously, by refusing to make its own rules public, the OIA is bound by no rules and instead reserves the right to make its own rules as it goes along and as it best suits its interests. I have requested the OIA’s rule book from its Chief Executive, Robert Behrens, six times and after initially ignoring me he instructed his Secretary, Ben Elger, to attempt to pass me a pamphlet as the rule book. When that didn’t work, he finally admitted that he will not release the rule book and offered no explanation why, all the while hiding behind his Secretary.
inception in 2007, the very year SAC was initiated, and when the EHRC replaced three previous commissions that had real teeth. The EHRC eschews its responsibility and hides its complicity in keeping SAC secret by conveniently and conspicuously invoking short statutes of limitation, so short in fact that a university’s internal adjudication process will not have ended, or by failing to admit a complaint’s validity. To look busy, the EHRC issues meaningless guides on best practices that are routinely ignored and never enforced. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is the public body in charge of investigating violations of the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, thus with undue eavesdropping into people’s communications via computers and access to electronic data – all of which SAC violates with impunity – no longer even bothers to reply to complaints that allege such violations. The excuse the ICO uses is that it is backlogged to such an extent that it takes years to hear from them. Giving secret government agents unencumbered access to students’ personal data and to their most intimate and honest thoughts posted on course forums and in written assignments is obviously a clear and gross violation of the Data Protection Act and privacy laws. More than this, the information is gathered by foreign nationals in the employ of front organisations, such as the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Qatar, where the British intelligence agencies have located one of SAC’s spy centres. This means that the data is taken out of Britain and even out of the European Union, without the knowledge let alone the consent of the individuals concerned, to be used and abused any which way the British and Qatari intelligence agencies wish. The Data Protection Act is thus violated in every respect, both in the letter and the spirit in which it was written. Last but not least, claims for discrimination in post 16 education must be taken to county court within 6 months less 1 day from the date of discrimination to have one’s claim heard. This again means that no student could possibly get through their university’s internal adjudication process within that time, let alone reach a county court. To shield itself from international opprobrium at the EU level and from being forced to adhere to the laws it professes to obey by a European court of law, the UK has refused to be bound by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and its elements of judicial and penal policy. This amounts to a free pass to trample the rights and freedoms of any European citizen (or indeed of any citizen period) without fear of being held accountable in a court of law outside the UK. And inside the UK, of course, no lawyer or law society will contest the legitimacy of CONTEST and SAC. I should know, for I tried and failed to get any solicitor’s interest. Prevent strategy updates published by various local authorities such as police departments as well as the progress and assessment reports published by the British Government on CONTEST neither address grievances nor report incidents of abuse and mistakes in the delivery of the Prevent programme. Instead they invariably declare that no human rights implications arise as a
result of Prevent. This blatant dishonesty serves the purpose of disarming criticism of the programme, which is deeply unpopular especially among Muslim communities, creating the impression that the rule of law still applies in the UK, as well as exonerating ministerial authorities, who are supposed to exercise oversight over CONTEST – namely the Home Secretary and the National Security and International Development Committee (NSID) – from any responsibility should the consequences of Prevent explode into criminal abuse or civil unrest. Between 2003 and 2007, thus prior to SAC’s implementation, the UK totally redesigned its public bodies so as to ensure that no claim for human rights violations or discrimination can find an independent and impartial investigating body. This was done systematically and intentionally to ensure that SAC meets with no opposition and that it cannot be exposed or challenged in a court of law. In the process, the rule of law has been suspended and replaced with government diktats5, reducing the entire officialdom to systemic dishonesty and state-sanctioned fraud and turning the nation’s higher education institutions into propaganda and indoctrination machines.6 Since no secret program can stay secret long enough in a democracy with a functioning and free press, the British Government had to also silence the media. It did and continues to do so by imposing publication bans on any and all newspapers and media channels that get a whiff of SAC. Defence Advisory Notices, which are official requests to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security (http://www.dnotice.org.uk/standing_da_notices.htm), are slapped on editors’ desks to keep their newspapers or TV stations quiet.
Paradoxically, the rule of law has been identified as the number one feature of britishness, the first and most important among ten core values Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy is supposed to protect from terrorists. “No one is above the law - not even the government” declares The Telegraph proudly and confidently. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraphview/3618632/Ten-core-values-of-the-British-identity.html.)
Of the dozens of officials I have dealt with in Britain only one has proven to be brave and honourable. Colin Atkinson, Leicester’s Information Officer, in answering my request under the Freedom of Information Act about the identity of Carla Liuzzo (the spy working from Qatar on behalf of the British and Qatari intelligence agencies) and the university’s collaboration with the government in censoring the academic environment, has confirmed that the University of Leicester must “work in partnership with other organisations and agencies on matters of national security and law enforcement, and in order to combat such very serious issues as terrorism and organised crime” and that the information office cannot release information about Carla Liuzzo because such information cannot be disclosed due to Section 23(3) “information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters”. He covered himself by adding that this neither confirms nor denies that the University holds such information.
While it is unclear to me how a similar ban is imposed on the European media from Brussels, it is clear that such a mechanism indeed exists.7 Although I have contacted a number of important newspapers in Germany, France, Italy and Spain not one of them has even bothered to acknowledge receipt of my evidence let alone publish it. To ensure that SAC remains operational, secret and unchallenged, the British government has also bullied human rights organisations, such as Liberty, and student unions to keep their hands off any cases brought forth that so much as mention SAC and to refrain from publicising its existence. Without recourse to the law or access to the media, aggrieved individuals who want to peacefully protest their mistreatment, seek redress, or inform the public about the existence of SAC meet with police threats.8 Indeed, police constabularies actively deny individuals the right to protest the existence and abuses of SAC, even though the right to protest is enshrined in Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The final slap in the face of human rights and civil liberties comes through bilateral agreements on countering terrorism forged at the national level between Britain and its Commonwealth allies and multilateral agreements at the EU level to ensure that Canada, Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand remain silent about covert ops that violate their citizens’ rights both directly and indirectly through social controls, censorship or consent manufacturing. Counter-terrorism clauses in agreements between the EU and third countries on co-operation in international and regional organisations, as well as counter-terrorism related assistance to select partners ensure that 80 countries so far will refrain from exposing SAC and programs like it. Democratic processes and human rights are thus undermined or outright suspended across the world in the name of security and thanks to the diabolical work of Britain’s secret service agencies. Throughout the western world, the good men have gone into hiding, lest they should be accused of fraternising with the enemy or standing up for potential terrorists. Institutions of last resort for the defence of human rights and civil liberties refuse to get involved because taking on their government is a daunting task with few chances of success. I have personally appealed to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), organisations that advocate and litigate for individual rights. The CCLA has responded
Freedom House as well as the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), both of which I have contacted several times, have not answered my repeated calls to help me identify the mechanism employed by the EU to muzzle the media. It is frightening that these two international and ostensibly independent organisations have become mere arms of the political establishment and enablers of censorship.
Chief Superintendent Brendan O'Dowda of Oxford police and Deputy Chief Constable Gordon Fraser of Leicester police have both denied me the right to protest, thus violating Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and have insinuated that if I do so I will be in violation of the law. When asked which law they are referring to they went silent. O'Dowda went so far as to even attempt to intimidate me by suggesting that I will be in trouble with the immigration authorities if I enter the country.
that this is an issue they do not want to get involved in while the ACLU has completely ignored my plea for help. I fared no better with academic centres that advocate for civil liberties: The Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto (Canada); Professor Ross Anderson at Cambridge University (UK), and The Defence of Civil Rights in Academia (DCRA) Project of the National Council of Arab Americans (United States). These institutions of civil society have been defanged, silenced or, respectively, dissolved. In this environment of see no evil, hear no evil, clearing one’s name from the stigma of terrorism, subversion, extremism or radicalism is neigh impossible once these labels are applied, and especially when they are applied without the victim’s knowledge. Giving the power to assign such labels to apologists, ideologues, censors and simpletons with hidden personal agendas, class interests and no real oversight is a recipe for disaster, especially since such individuals have a license to stand in judgement over our opinions and convictions in secret, under false pretences, without our knowledge, without due process, in contempt of the law, and across international borders where they have no jurisdiction.
The cancer spreads The genie is now out of the bottle and getting it back will be impossible since the checks and balances between the institutions meant to protect democracies from such abuses no longer exist and the rule of law has been suspended. Not surprisingly, SAC has expanded exponentially not only in scope but also in reach, absorbing ever more human and financial resources. As expected, the program is already out of control. Having run out of Muslims to harass and kick out of the United Kingdom on legitimate and illegitimate grounds, for good and for bad reasons, it has now honed in on foreigners of all colors and creeds; they are obviously un-British and jeopardise community cohesion. Foreigners whose opinions and convictions diverge from those prescribed by the British Government and who dare reach out for power jobs in government or professions sought after by the privileged locals, are a favourite target, if not by policy than by dint of the popular mood reflected in the authority given imbedded government agents to exercise their deepest personal prejudices and their community’s hatreds and biases with no oversight or safeguards. Expressions of such biases and hatreds are particularly ugly and prevalent at a time when employment is sparse because the economy of Britain is in shambles and meaningful employment throughout the western world is increasingly becoming a privilege. From the evidence I have been able to gather, SAC’s true objectives are far more insidious still and a lot broader than first expected, which is why it is kept secret at all costs. They are as follows:
1. Force the public to accept the status quo by discouraging or even obstructing criticism of the system and government actions and by creating artificial support for unpopular policies like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2. Deny minorities, and especially Muslims, the ability to voice their grievances and to speak in defence of their values and convictions so as to keep them silent, weak, divided, isolated and suspicious of one another in order to prevent them from participating in the democratic process, the nation’s discourse, and the political system. 3. Ensure that new ideas that challenge the wisdom of the current political and economic system are suppressed and discarded before they reach a mass audience and that those who put forth such ideas are discriminated against and prevented from graduating from university and succeeding in life in order to ensure that they have no opportunity to change the system from within, command a public podium, or contribute to professional publications. 4. Annihilate cultural differences from the public sphere to create the illusion of community cohesion and to sell the notion that the many factions that make up the pluralist and multi-religious society of Britain could possibly coexist solely on the basis of a shared set of values. This amounts to denying members of different cultural groups their true identity. 5. Fill the civil service and ministry ranks of foreign nations, as well as the ranks of international and transnational institutions and organizations, with graduates who have abandoned their people’s values and best interests and who for reasons of personal benefit and advancement have made Britain’s agenda their own. 6. Exercise undue influence on the people and governments of other European countries in order to gradually and underhandedly shape the EU in Britain’s image. This requires the active suppression of other nation’s identities and their cultural subjugation to ensure that no competing world views capture the imagination of humanity and supplant the existing Western order. The cancer of CONTEST and its most covert and virulent progeny, SAC, has spread to the European Community. In 2009, the EU Member States have agreed on a framework of cooperation, called the Stockholm Programme, in several areas of security policy, including counter-terrorism, for the period 2010-2014. Supposedly promoting "openness and security", the Stockholm Programme has begun unleashing the same covert surveillance and censorship operations upon the rest of Europe as are commonplace in Britain. This new security architecture will allow individual governments and Brussels to misuse and abuse the instruments introduced for the purpose of counter-terrorism to quell legitimate social protests and to pursue social engineering goals without constitutional restrictions and despite grassroots opposition. If
the UK is any indication, the fundamental rights promised citizens by the European Union, and enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, will be conditional upon one’s willingness to say and do only what the European Commission dictates.9 With unabashed disregard for appearances, the Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security (recently split into the Directorate-General for Justice and the Directorate-General for Home Affairs), Europe’s agency for, ironically, protecting fundamental rights and creating a European area of freedom, security and justice, has adopted the UK’s CONTEST strategy and text wholesale, so much so that its webpage on terrorism is nearly a carbon copy of CONTEST and its four strategy strands – Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare (http://ec.europa.eu/homeaffairs/policies/terrorism/terrorism_intro_en.htm). To protect SAC from being exposed, the EC has adopted the same methods of obstruction and obfuscation as those developed in Britain. An appeal for justice addressed to the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou10, will be promptly answered by none other than Dr. Martin Schieffer11, the Acting Head of Unit F1 (Fight against Terrorism), of Directorate F
Since the Stockholm Programme was agreed upon during the Swedish presidency of the EU, I asked the Prime Minister of Sweden, Fredrik Reinfeldt, and the Minister for European Union Affairs in the Swedish government, Birgitta Ohlsson, if “the Stockholm Agreement will implement the surveillance and censorship program (SAC) of the academic environment throughout the EU, as already covertly practised in the UK since 2007 under the auspices of CONTEST, Britain's anti-terrorism strategy” and “if SAC will be implemented covertly or overtly in other EU states with the tacit or implicit knowledge and permission of the Swedish Presidency and under the legislative framework provided by the Stockholm Agreement”. Since they have failed to respond, I take their silence as confirmation that this is indeed the case.
10 I subsequently asked the Commissioner for Education, the following: “Dear Commissioner Vassiliou, On the 3rd of April I send you an email (see File 1) informing you about the existence of a surveillance and censorship program in British universities under the auspices of CONTEST – The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism – and requesting that I lodge a complaint since the program in question violates European education law and human rights. To date, I have not received an answer from you, but only a reply from Dr. Martin Schieffer, Acting Head of Unit F1 (Fight against Terrorism) from Directorate F (Security) of the European Commission (see File 2). I found it rather puzzling that a request about education law and human rights addressed to you should be answered by the European Commission’s terrorism unit acting head, especially since such knowledge is outside Dr. Schieffer’s expertise. Since I am about to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, I need you to commit yourself in writing that my case presents no evidence of violations of European education law and European human rights law, as Dr. Martin Schieffer has indicated on your behalf. Dr. Schieffer will be able to send you the material I forwarded to your office at that time. If not, I will be more than happy to personally send you the files. Should I not hear from you personally, I will take this as evidence that your office is being misused to cover up the existence of the surveillance and censorship program I have identified and exposed. I am attaching my latest correspondence with the OIA to further elucidate the issues at hand and the stage of my ongoing appeal within Britain (see File 3). Should you wish to read the 24 supporting documents of File 3, I will be more than happy to send them to you. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Kevin Galalae.” Not surprisingly, she has refused to respond and has gone into hiding. As one would have expected given her actions, Mrs. Vassiliou studied law at Middle Temple Inn of Court in London (1961-1964) and international affairs at the London Institute of World Affairs (1964-1966). It appears that her loyalties lie with the British Government rather than the rule of law, justice, and the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the EU.
I have asked Dr. Schieffer on multiple occasions to explain his actions, but to date he has remained silent and seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. . I wrote to him: “Dear Dr. Schieffer, On the 19th of May, 2010, you replied to an inquiry I made to Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou (see File 1), regarding the violation of human rights and education law in British universities. I am currently preparing a complaint for the Council of Europe’s European Court of Human Rights and I am attempting to explain why an inquiry I made to the Commissioner for Education was answered by the Acting Head of Unit F 1
(Security) of the EC (which as of 2010 has become Directorate A of the Directorate-General for Home Affairs). He will confidently inform you that the violations of fundamental rights you allege have no link to European Union law and that the EC has therefore no power to intervene and that you should seek redress at national level through the competent authorities, including the courts. By refusing to investigate abuses committed at the national level, the EC gives its Member States a free pass to implement whatever restrictive and undemocratic policies they deem necessary without fear of being prosecuted by the European Court of Human Rights or any other EU agency. The freedom to abuse the law and violate citizens’ rights at the national level without fear of repercussions at the EU level is what would have made European consent for the Stockholm Programme possible. Maintaining Europe-wide secrecy of covert operations that blatantly violate citizen’s fundamental rights and civil liberties is achieved through a dozen conventions, joint actions, framework decisions and instruments designed to combat terrorism (http://ec.europa.eu/homeaffairs/doc_centre/intro/docs/jha_acquis_1009_en.pdf, pp. 34-5). The Stockholm Agreement, it is safe to say, is Europe’s first step towards autocracy and totalitarianism. And covert programs like SAC are the instruments that sow the destruction of Europe’s democracies. Binding and non-binding agreements at the EU level between Member States and bilateral agreements with western allies have elevated solidarity and collective action on combating terrorism above human rights and civil liberties, allowing allied states to violate or suspend the rights of each others’ citizens as they see fit. That is why every appeal I made in Canada to my local Member of Parliament12 and the heads of various political parties in the opposition have
(Fight against Terrorism) of Directorate F, which is responsible for Security. Am I to understand this as (1) confirmation that the surveillance and censorship program I identified in British universities is operating with the knowledge and consent of the European Commission and (2) that it may be extant beyond Britain and active in universities throughout the EU? The current Stockholm Programme on cooperation seems to also reinforce this conclusion. Furthermore, could you please provide your expertise and qualifications in the area of education law and human rights? The information I have gathered thus far seems to indicate that you have no expertise in these areas and that you are therefore ill-qualified to assess the validity of complaints that relate to human rights and education law. Last but not least, I would like to know if it is common practice within the European Commission to have requests addressed to the Commissioner for Education answered by the Acting Head of the Fight against Terrorism unit. I look forward to your reply. Regards, Kevin Galalae.”
Peter Milliken, the local MP, did absolutely nothing. As alumnus of Oxford University, Mr. Milliken chose to put the interests of his university ahead of the fundamental rights of his constituents. As elected Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr. Milliken has sworn to uphold and protect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Instead, he joined the editor of the local newspaper, Claude Scilley of The Whig Standard, to ensure that Canadians are kept in the dark about the fact that their children are being ideologically purged, intellectually brainwashed, spied on and censored in British universities and that the constitutionally protected rights of Canadians are being trampled upon by the British Government with the full knowledge and tacit consent of the Canadian Government. The toxic combination of Canada’s corporate owned media and a political establishment beholden to the British Crown and compromised by bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements on counterterrorism have annihilated freedom of speech, the rule of law and human rights in the country to which I immigrated as a child.
fallen on deaf ears. Canada’s political establishment, like that of every EU Member State, has betrayed its citizens. Even the hunger strike I staged on Canada’s Parliament Hill at the beginning of May has failed to convince Canada’s politicians to act in accordance with the nation’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which they purport to obey and defend. 13 The Solidarity Clause (contained in Article 42 of the draft Constitution for Europe) of the Declaration on Combating Terrorism of 25 March 2004 (http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/79637.pdf) states that Member States and acceding States must act jointly and have a common approach to combating terrorism. This, in addition to intelligence sharing and a Europe-wide legislative framework, further weds Europe’s Member States to central directives on security issues that are binding throughout the EU. This means that once labelled or red-flagged as a potential threat or an enemy of the state by one of SAC’s agents, an individual will have an uphill battle to prove his innocence and will be indefinitely treated as persona non grata throughout the EU and beyond. The full consequences of such labelling to the individual concerned remain secret. In my case, I have been denied tertiary education, a slew of fundamental rights, and the renewal of my Romanian passport, all of which have far-reaching consequences for my life now and in the future. The Declaration on Combating Terrorism has paved the way for an aggressive EU-wide policy on the prevention of radicalisation leading to terrorism, which is indeed recognised in the 2009 extended report on the Evaluation Of The Hague Programme And Action Plan as “the core of the ‘preventing’ strand of the European Union's counter-terrorism policy” (http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/doc_centre/doc/sec_2009_766_en.pdf, p. 47). Europe’s Prevent strand is, not surprisingly, a carbon copy of Britain’s CONTEST document and is based on the same four studies as Britain’s (three of which are indeed British). Not surprisingly, as in Britain, it has generated a series of projects (seven to date) to tackle radicalisation throughout society: in prisons, places of worship, higher education institutions, and elsewhere. These are intrusions into people’s lives that engender flagrant violations of fundamental rights, but that are supposed to be kept under control through Handbooks of Good Practices. These publications spell out “best practices in cooperation initiatives between authorities and civil society designed to prevent and respond to violent radicalisation” and, as in
Due to personal circumstances my hunger strike was, unfortunately, much shorter than I intended, lasting only four days, two at home and two in front of parliament. As it came at the wrong time - three weeks before the birth of my second son - I had to abort it when my wife’s blood pressure rose to dangerous levels. During my hunger strike the Canadian media completely ignored me, walking past me like I was invisible. Only one reporter spoke to me in passing and told me that no politician speaks to the press about my subject and that as long as nobody talks to them their hands are tied. The politicians too ignored me. The only one who talked to me in passing was Bob Rae, the Foreign Affairs critic for the Liberal Party, who told me not to ruin my health for this cause and to contact CSIS (the Canadian spy agency) and show them my evidence. I immediately phoned them and was told that someone would contact me soon. Six months later and I am still waiting.
Britain, they will be fully ignored, just as the evaluation reports by oversight authorities that are supposed to ensure the programs are in conformity with the law and that the rules are respected, will never be reached by reports of wrongdoing and abuse, which will have been purged from the public record along the way. As in Britain, progress reports and evaluation reports will fail to register abuses and will declare instead with unabashed dishonesty that CONTEST’s Prevent strategy entails no human rights breaches and that to date no violations have been registered. Civilian oversight will thus be bypassed at the EU, as within the UK, with cleansed reports that in turn ensure not only the survival of the program but also its proliferation into ever more intrusive and pervasive forms. How many people have been expelled from Britain or persecuted as a result of SAC is therefore a well-guarded secret both at the national and EU level. The EU’s 2009 document on the progress made by anti-terrorist legislation (TE-SAT 2009: EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, published by EUROPOL) has exempted Britain from even supplying itemised figures on the “number of arrested terrorism suspects in 2008” or the “number of failed, foiled or successful attacks in 2006, 2007 and 2008”, which aids the UK in hiding the true figures. Prevent is spreading like wildfire and is here to stay. In its 2010 annual report on CONTEST’s progress the UK Government declares that its Prevent program “has established local and national partnerships with an increasingly broad range of community groups and organisations, successfully delivering over 1,000 projects” (http://www.officialdocuments.gov.uk/document/cm78/7833/7833.pdf, p. 12) and over 250 overseas projects “in countries and regions which are most significant for the threat to the UK and our interests” (p. 14). In preparation for the Europe-wide expansion of SAC, the UK has set up an organisation, called The Group, to distribute the materials and know-how necessary to initiate SAC programmes. The GROUP, as well as the National Archives, refuse however to release the propaganda and indoctrination materials they have on the subject. I have made multiple enquiries only to have my email blocked. 14
The full name of this organization is "Community Cohesion and Preventing Violent Extremism Champion Principals Group” and is headed by Paul Head. I sent the following letter to Mr. Head, but instead of responding he blocked my e-mail: "Dear Mr. Head, I would like to know what your Group's position is on the surveillance and censorship programme that currently operates in UK universities under the auspices of CONTEST and that imbeds government agents in courses and programs to masquerade as students in order to covertly spy on and censor their legitimate fellow students if their opinions do not conform with the dictates of CONTEST. I am particularly interested in the role the Qatar Foundation plays in this surveillance and censorship programme. I am preparing a case for the European Court of Human Rights at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg to challenge the legitimacy of this programme and your input would be greatly appreciated. Can you also please forward me a copy of the document "Learning Together to be Safe - A toolkit to help colleges contribute to the prevention of violent extremism". I would greatly appreciate it. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Kevin Galalae” I have requested the following papers from Mr. Rousseau at the National Archives but without success: The Role of Education Providers in Promoting Further Community Cohesion, Fostering Shared Values and Preventing Violent Extremism - Initial
On the EU level, the lofty ideals and ambitious agenda of the Directorate General for Justice, Freedom and Security have been hijacked by the forces of authoritarianism and their vested interests, who want to subordinate the new European governance and economic arrangements to British oversight and control so as to ensure that no one threatens the entrenched rights, privileges and economic interests of the elites by challenging their power base or by pointing out their hypocritical stances and pretences. These forces have already succeeded in changing the modus operandi of the European Commission and are now using programs like SAC to gradually change the political culture of the EU from one that is genuinely consensual, free and democratic to one that is covertly dictatorial, manipulative and autocratic. By taking control of Europe’s academic discourse they hope to predetermine the outcome of democratic deliberations; a sneaky way to control or at the very least influence the nature of the EU. Ultimately this is part of the Anglo-American strategy to keep Europe within the fold and under the leadership of the US by rendering it fully dependent on Anglo-American ideas and fully subscribed to Anglo-American policies and to the free-market ideology the US and the UK espouse.15 By this strategy, it is only select American and British citizens, as well as their likeminded counterparts and minions elsewhere, who are allowed to contribute their ideas to the intellectual construct the new global order is to embody. Programs like SAC ensure that only those who toe the Anglo-American conception of the new world order are heard, that alternatives are discarded before they can be contemplated, and that no inconvenient truths are voiced that reveal the flaws, inequities and hypocrisy of this new world order. On the global level, the democratic aspirations of people living under autocratic regimes are being suppressed through illegal and unethical programs like SAC in order to protect the stability of a global economic order based on injustice and inequality and which pits the West against the Rest. What is ultimately undermined is the means by which people everywhere can determine the shape and form of the political and economic system under which they want to live. This neo-imperialist objective demands that Britain positions itself favourably on America’s side by devising an underhanded way by which to control continental Europe. The rightwing military types, self-serving politicians and moneyed interests that have joined hands and seized control of Britain’s democratic discourse and civil society under the pretext of
Consultation (331 KB), The Role of Education Providers in Further Promoting Community Cohesion, Fostering Shared Values and Preventing Violent Extremism - Consultation Summary (86 KB), The Role of Education Providers in Promoting Further Community Cohesion, Fostering Shared Values and Preventing Violent Extremism - Consultation Response (74 KB), The Role of FE Colleges in Preventing Violent Extremism: Next Steps (611 KB), Learning Together To Be Safe - A toolkit to help Colleges Contribute to the Prevention of Violent Extremism (495 KB)
The CIA Memorandum recently disclosed by WikiLeaks and titled "Counting on Apathy Why Might Not Be Enough", shows how America manipulates public opinion through propaganda in Europe and manufacturing of consent in order to sustain support for its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan despite public opposition. SAC is part of the same Anglo-Saxon effort to control the "internal enemy", the European public, when the population of the continent opposes state policy.
counter-terrorism, the guidance of Britain’s intelligence agencies, the cover of CONTEST, and the blessings of Washington are well on their way of achieving the same feat throughout Europe. The international cabal they have assembled is part and parcel of the global push to seize control of the world government that is emerging and to ensure that it serves the interests of the global elite first and foremost. They alone are to make the rules while the rest of mankind has no choice but to follow them.
Why it spreads Cooperation at the lowest common denominator SAC has become a self-reinforcing mechanism of oppression because its insiders profit and the system has been rigged so that outsiders who are wronged have no recourse to the checks and balances a functioning democracy needs to correct abuses and breaches of the law, and also because the current geopolitical climate breeds fear and paranoia and feeds deeply held prejudices and naked racism: the fallen universities and their defeated academics receive copious funding; the privileged get to offer their offspring a free education and fat incomes; national governments have the perfect tool to pursue unpopular policies without much internal opposition and external opprobrium; the Eurocrats get to manufacture consent for unpopular integration and harmonisation directives; allies who are equally paranoid about the Islamic fundamentalist threat and upcoming social unrest get free intelligence and an instrument for stifling political challengers; and the autocratic states in the Middle East that house the surveillance and censorship centres set up by the British intelligence agencies get an additional tool for repressing their people’s democratic aspirations. As a bonus, all stakeholders get to exercise their prejudices as they see fit and with their State’s assistance and the EU’s tacit blessing. Undergirding this coalition of the willing is Europe’s inability to contain a populist antiimmigrant backlash and the tacit decision to circumscribe the European Union’s cherished free movement of people through covert methods of persecution delivered through programs like SAC; programs that deprive immigrants and foreigners of the right to be heard and ultimately of the ability to organise and to acquire political representation, which will act in the long run as a deterrent to leave one’s country. On the human level, SAC and its sister programs have created a reward system that pays petty and narrow-minded individuals for informing and spying on their fellow citizens and for throwing stones at those brave and honest enough to speak out their minds and to stand by their convictions in an environment of state-sponsored lies, injustice and misinformation. Unethical people can now exercise power over others and be handsomely paid for it.
That self-interest and sycophancy dressed as patriotism and concern over people’s security should prevail over rare courage in an environment where the masses are silenced by inertia and acquiescence comes as no surprise to me. I have experienced this first-hand as a child in Ceausescu’s Romania, when my father, Dr. Costel Galalae, took on the communists. What comes as a shocking revelation, however, is the ease with which SAC and its sister programmes have been forced upon and found acceptance in a people protected by the rule of law and empowered by rights and liberties the citizens of the former Eastern Bloc could only dream of. The only logical explanation of why this has happened lies in the political structure and social organisation of the UK. Given Britain’s highly stratified society and the full control the elites have over the masses, CONTEST and SAC could only have been first instituted in the UK. Furthermore, as one of Europe’s oldest partial democracies, Britain has no recent experience of the devastating effects of censorship and authoritarianism and this lack of historical perspective and first-hand experience have made it reckless and ignorant. A third factor is that the institution of the monarchy has conditioning the British populace to easily cower to authority. That the British Government has succeeded in pushing its progenies to the EU level is partly the result of the tremendous soft power it commands through the hundreds of thousands of foreigners who have graduated from British universities over the past three decades. Many of them have been installed as point men and women in key positions throughout the EC after their careers have been fast-tracked by the British Government, often despite tangible achievements or merit. Whatever the causes, Britain has created a self-perpetuating beast that can no longer be contained and that now feeds its growing appetite on unbridled prejudice and naked racism. This beast has nearly shattered my marriage, has irreversibly alienated me from my older brother, has altered my relationship with extended family and friends, has destroyed my love for Canada (where I reside) and my respect for its leadership, and has robbed me of just about every right and freedom I thought I had.
The consequences of its spreading Deep social divisions, conditional rights and the suspension of the rule of law A secret is only a secret if it stays a secret. A secret meant to protect society’s shared values and community cohesion will by necessity be shared only among the minority that profits most from the status quo. If your daddy happens to be a high ranking officer in the armed forces, a judge, a commissioner, an industrialist, a newspaper editor, or an academic, chances are that you will be let in on the big secret and invited to profit from it. The job of spying on your fellow citizens comes with many perks: a free education, fellowships to live and “research” abroad, free
international travel, excellent medical plan, the cachet of secret service work and, of course, the power to exercise authority over your lesser citizens. That kind of power, needless to say, is addictive. If you are the son or daughter of Joe the plumber, you can be certain that you will not be let in on the big secret and the lucrative work that comes with it. No, you and I need not apply for one must have the right pedigree, the right political inclinations, and the necessary connections and social status to be let in on the big secret and gorge on the public trough at the expense of the taxpayers and their rights. No, you and I need not apply, for we are the mob that needs to be kept in its place, less we should revolt over growing unemployment, dwindling incomes, exploding debt, unfair distribution of wealth, and so on. You get the picture! The first symptom of the SAC disease is social division between insiders, those who are in on the big secret and who by necessity are the sons and daughters of the elites, and outsiders, those who will never be. The rule of law no longer applies equally and human and civil rights are no longer respected let alone inalienable. Those with views and values not deemed by the elites as compatible with the society they live in are stripped of their every right, liberty and social protections that are supposed to be guaranteed by the constitution and upheld by law. In this environment one is at the mercy of government agents whose individual judgements are based on uncontrolled prejudices, self-interest, class interest and the changing agendas of the ruling party. Abuses and mistakes will not be recognised because the survival of the programme is more important than any single individual’s rights, 1000 individuals, or of any number of individuals for that matter. And that is how a second division occurs, between the initiated and empowered, those who set themselves above the law because they have authority over others, and the uninitiated and disempowered, those who can be stripped of their rights, freedoms and protections the moment they say or do something that offends the initiated. The result is that if you think like us and say what we want to hear, your rights will be respected, but if you don’t, your rights will be trampled upon. Those at first reluctant to cooperate are soon keen supporters of the programme because the money is good and a cushy and safe job in a depressed economy is not something to sneer at, and because holding unrestricted power over others is corrupting. The democratic institutions that are supposed to hold in check and balance government power are thus corrupted along with the individuals co-opted into the inner circle. And that is how SAC becomes a tool for social oppression that holds society hostage to the status quo while the organs of democracy decay alongside the integrity of individuals. The predictable outcome of such a system-wide decay is that we, the people, no longer have a say in the running of our countries and of Europe and that those who make the rules are above criticism and therefore free to be as autocratic or totalitarian as they wish. At a time when a university degree is essential for getting ahead and prospering, barring the underprivileged and the unconforming from education on the pretext that they do not hold views
compatible with the society they live in will prevent social ascension and entrench privileges in ever fewer hands. This in turn will spell the end of meritocracy and the universal benefits it brings, since within a generation or two individuals previously appointed to positions of leadership according to intelligence and aptitude will be merely chosen due to their connections and to their willingness to prostitute themselves. The gradual repression of free speech will translate into universal fear to utter any criticism however relevant or subtle it may be. This will not only destroy the foundation of democracy, since the pluralism of opinion necessary for democracy is replaced by state propaganda, but also the fabric of society, since the people will be imprisoned in their own minds, robbed of the ability to seek redress for injuries suffered at the hands of the authoritarian elite, and suspicious of anyone’s motives, lest they should turn out to be informants, censors or ideologues. Fear and self-interest will sink society into an unbearably stultifying uniformity. Inalienable rights have become conditional, participation in society subject to government scrutiny, the balance of power upset, freedom of speech and conscience subordinated to class interest, the academic discourse impoverished, human relations perverted, and the rule of law replaced by individual whim. These are the poisonous fruits that Britain is now reaping from its counter-terrorism strategy and whose end result will be a society deeply fragmented by fear and suspicion and irrevocably divided between insiders and outsiders, empowered and disempowered, full citizens and second class citizens, overseers and overseen, natives and foreigners.
The consequences of its spreading outside Britain: Autocracy in the making, Europe’s new form of fascism SAC’s appeal is obvious. It allows those in positions of authority to exercise power unrestrained by democratic processes and their lackeys to profit from government funding and job security unavailable to the great majority. SAC has found acceptance at the European level because in the post 9-11 geopolitical climate it is politically safe not to oppose any program that purports to increase security; because it offers a covert way to exercise prejudices of all kinds and Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism are ripe throughout the western world; and because the Brits are adept at selling Trojan horses to unsophisticated continental politicians who are either unaware that they are sowing the seeds of their own country’s self-destruction and the end of their people’s self-determination, or are bought not to care by being offered a seat at the European governing table and access to the revolving door between the corporate and the political establishments.
Few governments in Central and Eastern Europe will want to or be able to cough up the money necessary to implement their own versions of SAC. So the task will graciously be taken over by Britain, which already has the people and the know-how in place to do so. Gradually Britain will get to reshape other European societies in its own image by taking advantage of the asymmetric vulnerabilities of different nations, while also billing the EU and the rich puppet states in the Middle East and elsewhere for services rendered. Already the advantages conferred on British universities by the international supremacy of the English language are being used to ensure that only those foreign students graduate from British universities who are willing to espouse British ideas and values to the exclusion of others. Before long, the entire European continent will be as stratified, elitist, snobbish and hypocritical as the UK, as well as subordinated to policies and ideologies emanating from Whitehall. Fifty years from now the much touted European Project will have produced an Anglicized and dependent continent overpopulated with lords and ladies at the top of an Orwellian society defended from the wrath of its citizens by millions of CCTV cameras and hundreds of thousands of informants, spies and ideologues at every level of society. To a great extent, that is already the reality of British society. EU citizens will be no more than royal subjects with conditional rights rather than free citizens with inalienable rights. If Britain is allowed to reassert its dwindling importance and relevance on the world stage by taking control of the EU through the back door, not only the citizens of the EU but the citizens of the entire free world will face an uncertain future. If we allow it, the outcome is predictable; a populace that is acquiescent, apathetic, docile, demoralised and fully disenfranchised from the democratic process. Those in charge of the EU Presidency come and go every six months while Britain’s spoofs and their system of social control and consent manufacturing are there to stay and to entrench their power from year to year, turning Europe into a securitised society in which the militaryindustrial complex and its rhetoric pervert every aspect of life, just like in the United States, and has the power to legitimize extraordinary means to solve any perceived threat. Within a few decades they alone will be Europe’s mandarins, preying on people’s insecurities and weaknesses, stoking their prejudices and vulnerabilities and turning them against the people’s own best interests in order to strangle every democratic initiative that does not suit those in power. What better way to undo hard-won European unity than by stoking the racist undercurrents that run deep in Europe and that have experienced a resurgence through the rise of rightwing and nationalist parties throughout the EU. CONTEST and its progenies, like SAC, are the clearest and boldest expression of a militarized, rightwing, conservative vision of the world in which the State keeps its eye on everything and everyone.
The paradoxes SAC’s existence entails The greatest damage to our democracies and threat to our rights and freedoms come not from Al Qaeda or other real or fictitious foes, but from our own allies and from our prejudices run wild, for the damage done to date by all terrorist attacks put together pales by comparison to the damage done to our societies by the application of covert methods of surveillance and censorship designed to control what we say and how we think, and to ensure that we acquiesce. In the name of defending our “shared values” and “community cohesion” the free, pluralist and multicultural societies that made western nations successful and free are being turned into xenophobic and repressive societies that have abandoned the very principles of democracy and freedom. The time has come to ask ourselves if a society that needs this kind of defences deserves to survive, and if a world order obsessed with security when it should be concerned with humanity has a right to exist.
It is a bitter irony that the pursuit of knowledge, which is to lead to a better world and to a better life for the individual, leads instead to the discrimination, exclusion and stigmatisation of the very individuals who have the courage to criticize the status quo and the foresight to suggest alternative solutions to enduring problems.
While SAC was purportedly instituted with the intent to safeguard Britain and Europe from terrorist attacks, it is conveniently used and abused for whatever purpose serves the people in charge of the programme. No one in their right mind can maintain that I was thrown out of Oxford and Leicester because my ideals and ideas mirror those of Islamic militants or terrorists. On the contrary, the record shows that my forum contributions stand in defence of democracy’s most cherished values and Enlightenment’s forgotten humanist ideals. There is no greater threat to today’s brand of brutal capitalism and cruel Islamic fundamentalism than Enlightenment’s forgotten humanist ideals. The conviction with which I promoted these ideals and the forcefulness with which I attacked and criticised the current capitalist world order and its asymmetrical justice is what has infuriated the government’s censors. What has also infuriated the censors is that my allegiance is to human rights for all (and not just for my fellow citizens or for the members of my social class) and not to narrow national interests, especially when they are defined as who gets the biggest share of the global economic pie and who exploits whom in this brave new world of emerging global government under American hegemony. That kind of thinking and acting belongs to the past (or at least ought to) and has no place in this day and age when humanity struggles to find unity in purpose and to solve problems that are common to mankind as a whole and that, unless resolved, threaten human civilization itself and the very survival of the species.
CONTEST is by definition and by necessity blatant censorship and SAC is now being used and abused to achieve a broader neoconservative and imperialist agenda. Seizing the unique opportunity provided by Al Qaeda, the elites lost no time disabling the nation’s institutions designated to protect human and civil rights by throwing an umbrella of surveillance and control over the entire nation and bullying and/or co-opting the people in charge of Britain’s vital institutions. The true scope of this is, pure and simple, to fabricate consent when it is necessary to do so in order to preserve what Britain’s elites see as their birthrights: their wealth, privileges, power, and the right to meddle in and control the destinies of other nations. Never mind manufacturing consent, that was too laborious and unsafe and the UK is now in the business of inventing consent – for that is how removed they are from the people they govern – and SAC is just another weapon in their ever-growing arsenal of social controls.
Contemplate for a minute the paradox entailed by the notion that Britain’s “shared values” and “community cohesion” should be defended from places like Qatar (which I have identified and exposed as the country that houses one of Britain’s spy centres) and which is a tribal society that professes Islam as its religion and polygamy as a social custom, where the emir, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and his cohorts control all the wealth and have unrestricted power to do as they please, and where 1.2 million foreigners are treated no better than indentured slaves; and by people like Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned16, the emir’s favourite (and second) wife and a woman that sports multimillion dollar yachts, whose clan members, the Missneds, control the security services, whose life is shrouded in secrecy, and whose fabulous wealth gives her privileges Westerners can only dream of.
I wrote to the Sheikha’s Qatar Foundation to request an explanation why their employee, Carla Liuzzo, is spying on and censoring students at Leicester University. No one answered.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and his Consort, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, visiting the UK on HM the Queen’s invitation, October 26-28.
Of course, that is not how the people who control Britain see Qatar. Qatar, as far as they are concerned, is the same as Britain: a monarchy where the elites control all the power and wealth and with whom it is easy to strike shady and illegal deals of convenience because they both have to defend societies based on gross inequality. Qatar, in their assessment, is the ideal place from whence to censor and control British and foreign subjects. It is the world’s largest exporter of gas, which means that vast sums of money can be funnelled into spy activities while masked as legitimate energy transactions. It is the home of Al Jazeera, which can report and criticize anything and anyone in the West as long as they do not touch Qatar’s ruling elite. With the Western media co-opted to cover up the existence of the spy program, Al Jazeera would have been the most likely media channel to expose it.17 That channel is now shut because any whiff of SAC would lead to the emir and his favourite wife. The emir, of course, is a graduate of the Sandhurst Military Academy, an elite British military school, and getting his collaboration in the spy program would have been very easy and would have involved one of his former colleagues at Sandhurst.
Carla Liuzzo, an Australian citizen, and the government spy I identified at Leicester, works for the Qatar Foundation, based in Doha, Qatar.18 The Qatar Foundation is the brainchild of Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the emir’s third wife. Sheikha Mohzah’s Qatar Foundation was
If this strategy was followed across the board, it is a sure bet that a similar spy centre exists in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, where Al Arabiya is located, the other Arabic-language television channel of importance.
The spies I have exposed at Oxford are Ivor Middleton (a British citizen of South African origin and Director of Complete Security Concepts, a British security firm) and Gloria Portella (a Brazilian citizen and lawyer operating from Brasilia, Brazil, and daughter of Supreme Court Judge Antonio de Padua Ribeiro).
purportedly set up to bring world-class education to Qatar and has spent billions of dollars to attract some of the best American universities to Qatar. As you can imagine, if they have an agreement with the British intelligence agencies to spy on foreign and domestic students studying in British universities, the same is being done to the Qatari and foreign students enrolled in the American universities now in Qatar. Obviously, this is happening with American approval and perhaps even as a result of America’s initiative. Qatar, after all, is home to a huge American base that is the forward headquarters of America’s Central Command, which feeds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with supplies and equipment. Furthermore, the Americans are the emir’s closest allies, while the British are Qatar’s second most important ally. One also has to ask, what other universities in what other countries are already being censored from Qatar?
In order to protect our rights and freedoms the government of Britain decided that it is both wise and necessary to deprive us all indiscriminately of our rights and freedoms. When SAC is exposed, as I have done, the need to cover up its existence trumps any single individual’s rights and freedoms. So it is that in order to cover up SAC’s wilful violations of my right to free speech, thought and conscience, the people in charge of the spy programme have deemed it necessary to also deprive me of the right to a fair trial, perverting the adjudicating process of universities, silencing the Information Commissioner’s Office19, sending the Equality and Human Rights Commission into hiding20, corrupting the Office of the Independent Adjudicator through secret directives, instructing the police constabularies of Oxford and Leicester to refuse me the right to protest peacefully and to even issue veiled threats if I enter the country, perverting even the office of the Governor General, the Queen’s representative in Canada, who refused to allow me to protest on the Canadian soil where the official residence is located. By instructing the Romanian authorities to refuse me the renewal of my Romanian passport they have also interfered with my right to free movement.21 They have also infringed my right to free association when depriving me of access to the media, which has been silenced not just in Britain but also in Canada and throughout the western world through intelligence sharing agreements between allied nations that trump their citizens’ human rights. Although I have contacted just about every important newspaper in Western Europe, Australia, Canada and the US, I have yet to hear from any. Were it not for Mr. Paunescu, who is truly a lion among sheep, I would have been screaming in the wind because the so-called free press of the so-called free world has long
My appeal to the ICO to this day has yielded nothing but a computer generated case number, even though I sent them my file nine months ago.
The EHRC has refused to investigate my case and transferred its responsibilities to the OIA even though the OIA has no proper jurisdiction over human rights issues.
21 In May 2010, I tried to renew my Romanian passport at the Romanian Embassy in Ottawa, where I was told it is not possible and that I am probably no longer a citizen since my passport expired eight years ago.
ceased to exist. Nearly three decades ago, Mr. Paunescu saved my father’s life from the communists by intervening on my father’s behalf when he lay in jail as a political prisoner. Today, Mr. Paunescu saved my dignity by giving me the opportunity to inform the public when the capitalist press denied me access. This is all the more egregious given my family’s history, for when my parents fled Romania in the 1980s, my father could finally speak freely and publically in the UK on BBC. Today, I have to leave Canada and the UK to be able to speak freely and publically in Romania. Nothing illustrates better the decay of British (and Canadian) democracy than this tidbit of personal history. In the name of security, a regime of global oppression is being forged. This regime has no respect for human rights and civil liberties and has perverted the national and international institutions entrusted with safeguarding our rights and freedoms to such an extent that the constitutions of individual nation states are mere words on paper. It has also annihilated the protections previously afforded by citizenship, so much so that the social contracts implied by nationality are rendered null and void. This is occurring because the ideology of greed (AngloSaxon free market capitalism) is in a life and death struggle with the ideology of hatred (Wahhabi Muslim fundamentalism), and because the West realises that Islam is the only remaining force large enough to threaten the new global order and to refuse to adopt the tenets of capitalism. Those of us who subscribe neither to the MacWorld nor to the Jihad ideology are being victimised twice over. The Islamic fundamentalists have robbed us of our sense of safety while capitalism’s censors have robbed us of our fundamental rights. Arguably, the latter have done the greater damage to our society. In any case, those who rob us of our rights in the name of security are no better than those who rob us of our security in the name of religion. Both live among us under false pretences and both seek the destruction of our noblest values. That is why we must name and shame both terrorists and censors and pursue them with equal determination. Since I subscribe neither to the ‘profit over people model’ of the capitalist West nor to the ‘God over humanity model’ of fundamentalist Islam, I reserve the right to criticize both as I see fit. I refuse to regurgitate the propaganda and half-truths of either party or have my opinions and convictions controlled by secret service agents or by mullahs. Freedom of speech, thought and conscience are not either or propositions, as the Government of Britain would have it, and they are certainly not the domain of God, as the Islamists would have it. They can only survive and thrive in an environment that is free of intrusion and control. Given the contradictions and paradoxes I have outline above, what is the more logical conclusion: that SAC was initiated to catch a few Muslim fundamentalists or that it was meant to manufacture consent in line with the interests of Britain’s privileged class? What terrorist goes to university or posts in forum discussions to announce that tomorrow he will blow up Big Ben, or to persuade his fellow students to blow up Big Ben? The very notion that terrorism can be prevented and vulnerable individuals protected by censoring the academic discourse is ludicrous. This shatters the possibility that SAC was created to prevent violent extremism. SAC was meant
from the very beginning to render alternative political views, dissenting voices, minority interests, and the common man voiceless by denying them the ability to exchange ideas and organize in order to sway public opinion, obtain political representation, and shape the society they live in. By controlling public opinion and censoring the academic discourse Britain’s masters have found a covert way to dictate the outcome of democratic deliberations and thus to ensure that only policies sanctioned by the powers to be have justification and are heard. SAC allows the Brits to police thought for the benefit of its elites while pretending that Britain is a free society. What the existence of SAC and its proliferation on the EU level also demonstrates is that the security-military-industrial establishment has become too large, too powerful and too internationally interconnected post 9/11 to be able to be contained by national and even international civilian authorities. Without civilian control and in the absence of a functioning civil society, the continuing militarization and securitization of society is inevitable, and the consequences of this trend, unless reversed, will be dire.
What is to be done? If SAC is allowed to spread beyond Britain, the only way to stay true to one’s convictions, beliefs, ideas and ideals will be to worship in secret, to reserve one’s thoughts to a trusted circle of family and friends, and to withdraw one’s participation from civil society and the political process, which will be irreversibly perverted. This is exactly the predicament of Britain’s Muslims and increasingly of its immigrants and of its disaffected native population. The sole defining feature of our democracies will be hypocrisy and our children will be secondclass citizens in perpetuity and fully at the mercy of a global fraternity of powerful and wealthy individuals who are bound by self-interest and autocratic power rather than the common good and democratic participation. For if we tolerate this we will only replace the ‘you do as you’re told or else rot in prison’ world of dictatorship communism with the ‘you do as you’re told or else starve to death’ world of totalitarian capitalism. If we allow this, Europe will descend into a second phase of fascism. While in the 30s Jews were the main target of fascists and Nazis, and socialists, communists, pacifists, homosexuals and gypsies were secondary targets, in the brave new world of the 21st century, Muslims have become the primary targets and immigrants, communists, civil libertarians and the Roma, once again, the secondary targets. This time around the fulcrum of hatred and prejudice is not Germany but England and today’s Gestapo is Britain’s OSCT, its Office of Security and Counter Terrorism. National Socialism was the ideology of the persecutors then, and their objective a 1000 year 3rd Reich. Free market capitalism is the ideology of the persecutors now and an unchallenged new global world order their goal. Those who don’t share the ideology and stand
in the way of the goal, then as now, will be mowed down. The Nazis herded their victims into concentration camps and exterminated them. The British electronically encircle and isolate their victims and through discrimination and intimidation render them socially invisible and politically irrelevant. As always in crimes perpetrated at this level and scale, a few people carry most of the responsibility. It is however an indictment on the entire nation because such crimes require broad participation. I will now identify those who have been revealed by my investigation to bear most of the responsibility.22
The Political Conspirators
Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani Emir of Qatar
Gordon Brown – former Prime Minister of Britain (2007-2010)
Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned23
Alex Allan – spy chief
22 Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance, the man in charge of muzzling the British media, has advised me on September 2 against revealing the names of the spies. I quote: “Turning to whether you should 'name' alleged secret agents embedded in British Universities, my unequivocal advice is not to do so.” I go against his advice because the damage to human rights and civil liberties that their continuing activity as spies and censors engenders is greater than the threat they face from potential enemies.
In 2007, the same year Sheikha Mozah agreed to cooperate with the British Government on running a spy center from her foundation, she was rewarded with a Chatham House Prize for improving international relations. Chatham House said she was
Consort and 2nd wife of the Emir of Qatar & Chairperson of The Qatar Foundation
Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee & Head of Intelligence Assessment (2007-present)
Paul Head Chair of Principals Champions Group
Dr. John Hood former Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University (2004-2009)
Dr. Andrew Hamilton24 current Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
Dr. Elizabeth Murphy25 Pro-Vice-Chancellor Leicester University
Phillip Whiteley Superintendent Operations Leicestershire Constabulary
Brendan O'Dowda Chief Superintendent Oxfordshire Police
Kathy Williams Academic Registrar University of Leicester
awarded the prize because of her commitment to progressive education and her strong advocacy of closer relations between Islamic countries and the West.
When Dr. Hamilton took over the Vice-Chancellorship from Dr. Hood, and inherited SAC from his predecessor, who is primarily responsible for involving Oxford in the spy and censorship program, I wrote to him on the 16th of February 2010 and asked: “Since you are an American citizen who is not bound by British secrecy laws I urge you to tell the world about the sorry state of Britain’s democracy and the intrusive, illegal and covert encroachment of the academic environment by Britain’s government. I remind you also of the solemn duty you have to uphold the sanctity of the academic environment.” I concluded my letter to him by saying: “I hope that unlike your predecessor you will do what is right.” He did not reply, publicly apologise to students, condemn SAC or offer compensation. If SAC continues, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, then Dr. Hamilton is aiding and abating foreign nations to spy on fellow American citizens, which is treason. The only visible sign of corrective action is that he took Dr. Giovanni de Grandis, the tutor in charge of the Political Philosophy course where I uncovered the existence of SAC, off his teaching duties and has relegated him to an office position where he has no contact with students.
25 Professor Murphy, unlike her colleagues at Oxford who knew enough to remain silent, went on record to lie about Carla Liuzzo’s true identity. To date, the only corrective action Leicester University appears to have taken is the early retirement of Kathy Williams, the Registrar who would have been instrumental in fudging the records in order to make the spies/censors in their courses appear to be common students.
The Clean-sweepers at the UK level
Robert Behrens OIA Chief
Fiona Draper OIA Adjudication Manager
Felicity Mitchell OIA Deputy Adjudicator
The Clean-sweepers at the EU level
Martin Schieffer Acting Head, Counter-Terrorism Unit Directorate-General Home Affairs
Androulla Vassiliou EU Commissioner for Education
Ivor Middleton, Oxford spy
Gloria Portella, Oxford spy-in-training
Carla Liuzzo, Leicester spy
Ivor Middleton (British citizen, born 1960), Director of Complete Security Concepts (CSC), a British security firm. CSC is a subsidiary of ESC, which manages events for the royal family and other prestigious clients. Ivor Middleton has worked within the security industry both nationally and internationally for over 20 years, 5 of which he spent working for a prominent Middle Easter family. Yet the profile he posted at Oxford reads: “I am 44. I live some 15 miles south of Oxford, near the Thames. I was born in South Africa, but have lived in the UK for some 30 years. I work as a finance director for larger small businesses.” Gloria Maria Portella (Brazilian citizen) is a lawyer and daughter of retired Superior Court Judge, Antonio de Padua Ribeiro, a highly decorated high ranking officer in the armed forces. She lives in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. When I uncovered her at Oxford she was acting as a spy/censor-in-training under the tutelage of Ivor Middleton. Her full name is Glória Maria Lopes Guimarães de Pádua Ribeiro Portella. Carla Liuzzo (Australian citizen) is a frequent contributor to the Lowy Interpreter, the publication of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, where she describes herself as a freelance consultant, and is married to Dan Nolan (shown in the picture), who is a correspondent for Al Jazeera in English. They live in Doha, Qatar. She was formerly senior consultant for Parker & Partners, an Australian public affairs consultancy. In the profile she posted at Leicester University she declared to be employed by the Qatar Foundation on food security issues. When I uncovered her spying on and censoring students at Leicester University her phone number at the Qatar Foundation was +1-974-686-6379, which confirms her employment there.
If you want your rights to be inalienable then this is the time to stand up and be counted. The threat to our rights and freedoms has never been greater. For the first time in history, the forces of authoritarianism have joined hands across the globe and are working in tandem to keep us weak and powerless by usurping our rights, to make us ignorant and purposeless by depriving us of the truth, and to render us suspicious of each other and isolated by denying us the trust of our fellow man. Nationality in this environment is but the prison that contains us and passports no more than documents of slavery. To deny them dominion over us, we must join hands across the globe and make the people’s power the vehicle of freedom. This is the time to say: Over my dead body will the international conspiracy against freedom emanating from Britain dash the hopes and dreams, ideals and innocence, sincerity and morality of our sons and daughters! Over my dead body will the democratic processes that secure our rights and freedoms be replaced by state propaganda and government decrees enforced by a global elite made up of sellouts, profiteers, propagandists and ideologues bent on instituting an autocratic rather than a democratic world order. Over my dead body will humanity be split into insiders and outsiders, empowered and disempowered, full citizens and second class citizens, overseers and overseen. This is not the kind of world I want my children to grow up in and I will not bend until the free world is free once again and until the rights and freedoms our forefathers have bled and died for are fully restored for our children to enjoy.
To restore the western world to democratic principles and processes and to the rule of law will take a revolution. And it is a revolution of conscience and passive resistance that I am attempting to ignite. The time has come to stand up and say no more. Whatever the odds of success, whatever the consequences we cannot allow the desecration of mankind’s most hallowed rights. For it is those rights that make us human and our society humane, and it is those protections that give us dignity and make life in free societies dignified. I, for one, have returned my Romanian passport to the President of Romania, Traian Băsescu, and my Canadian passport to the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, and will remain stateless until such time as the rights and freedoms of our constitutions are respected and defended by our governments and politicians. To shame and punish those who rob us of our rights, I will be pursuing legal action against them and against the governments of Britain and Qatar at the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Hopefully, these institutions are still untainted and not yet beholden to autocratic interests and forces. If these international institutions of last resort prove to be as corrupted as those in Britain, or as indifferent and/or co-opted as those in our own countries, then I will dedicate my efforts to create a People’s Protection Force, an authority of the people, by the people and for the people, which will stand up for individuals whose human rights and civil liberties have been trampled on by their governments across borders and irrespective of the victim’s nationality, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. For a man who is not allowed to think aloud and act freely is but a slave, and slavery has no place in the 21st century. I shall keep you posted.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?